“Uspishna Varta” on the results of observation on election day, April 21st 2019

“Uspishna Varta” on the results of observation on election day, April 21st 2019

According to the results of observation on the day of voting on April 21st, “Uspishna Varta” did not record gross violations that could have a significant impact on the results of the election. At the same time, following the results of the second vote, some “anomalous” polling stations - where turnout significantly exceeded the national and regional average, and the percentage of support for the current president, Petro Poroshenko, reached 93% - stand out. Such stations anomalously stand out against the background of others located in the same district and region. According to observers, such statistics may indicate controlled voting or the implementation of direct fraud at a number of polling stations. "Anomalous" stations are located mainly in the Lvov region and the frontline zone of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, which are under the control of the military-civil administrations. The results of voting at such anomalous polling stations did not generally affect the overall election results, but they did overstate the percentage of support for the current president, Petro Poroshenko.

The main violations of law and order on election day, April 21st

After processing 99.87% of the electronic protocols following the second vote in the Ukrainian presidential election on April 21st, Vladimir Zelensky is leading with a result of 73.23%. Turnout in the second round was 61.37%.

The National Police reported that on April 21st 1167 complaints related to the electoral process were received. The most common violations, according to the police, were illegal campaigning (146 complaints), photographing ballot papers (70), damaging ballot papers (16), bribing voters (10), and attempting to take away ballot papers (3).

According to the observers of “Uspishna Varta”, cases of photographing ballots in the booth were less common than they were in the first round (recorded in Kiev, Kherson, Volyn, Lvov, Nikolaev, and Kharkov regions).

Also, the observers of "Uspishna Varta" in several regions recorded attempts to take away ballot papers. Information about such incidents was received from Kharkov, Zaporozhye, Rovno, and Ivano-Frankovsk. In most cases, such attempts were stopped. In the city of Kagarlyk, in the Kiev region, a man stole a ballot paper from a polling station and fled on a bicycle in an unknown direction.

At polling stations in Zaporozhye and the Lugansk region observers recorded attempts to stuff ballot boxes, as well as blank sheets instead of ballot papers. In the Stanichno-Lugansk district of the Lugansk region a bundle of ballots was discovered that had been simultaneously planted by one member of the commission into the ballot box. In the village of Ocheretino, in the Yasinovatsky district of the Donetsk region, several ballot papers were folded inside each other in a ballot box in a polling station. Both incidents are being investigated by the police.

In Kiev, in district 217 (polling station No. 800523), representatives of the right-wing group “National Corpus” attempted to interfere with the counting of votes. The police were called and the offenders were removed from the precinct.

In addition, on polling day, the police received 47 reports about the mining of various objects, but all of them turned out to be false. The largest number of such incidents on election day was recorded in Kiev (19), Kharkov (15), and Lvov (6).

Like for the whole campaign, before the second vote (see the report of “Uspishna Varta” on the observation of the electoral process for April 1st-18th 2019), on election day on April 21st, despite a direct legislative ban, observers also recorded defamatory campaign materials ("Black PR") aimed against the candidate Vladimir Zelensky. Leaflets, stickers, and posters containing photo collages and defamatory messages towards the candidate (about his drug addiction) were placed near the polling stations in Kiev and other regions. In Kiev, the observer of “Uspishna Varta” contacted the police after this fact.

On the Internet on election day fake information was also circulated - that in the second round of the presidential election the Central Election Commission changed the voting logic, and now it is necessary to put a tick not “for” their candidate, but “against” the one who the voter does not support. Such a campaign was one of the reasons for the increase in the number of spoiled ballots compared with the first round (from 1.18% to 2.31%).

Management of the electoral process and inaccuracies in voter lists

Despite the shortage of personnel in precinct election commissions on the eve of polling day, the electoral process was organized in a timely manner and without significant violations.

Recall that the problem with the formation of district commissions arose because of the refusal of the candidate Petro Poroshenko to provide more than 2 members to the commission (from the required 6-8). In a number of electoral districts the shortage of commission members reached 1,000. According to the CEC, as of April 15th, the most acute problem with personnel for commissions was present in 40 districts (out of 199).

According to the observers of “Uspishna Varta”, the problem of there being a shortage of commissions was solved in most of the districts by involving volunteers, as well as via appeals to local authorities and employment centers.

On election day, April 21st, all polling stations attended by the observers of “Uspіshna Varta” held preparatory meetings and opened on time. At a number of stations there were cases when several PEC members did not appear. The only polling station in Ukraine that opened with a considerable delay (at 16:00) was the polling station in the village of Lebedinskoye, in the Volnovakhsky district of the Donetsk region. The CEC explained the situation by the fact that the station is located close to the line of demarcation.

The observers of “Uspishna Varta” recorded an insufficient number of ballot papers in the districts of Donbass. For example, in 29 polling stations of constituency No. 48, in violation of Part 7 of Article 71 of the Law, the PEC received fewer ballots than voters included in the list.

On the day of the second vote, as well as on the day of the election on March 31st, observers continued to identify so-called "dead souls" on voter lists - people who are not registered at the specified address. Thus, in Zaporozhye, at polling station No. 231078, a statement made by a voter about the presence in the lists of an unauthorized person who does not live and is not registered at the address indicated in the list was transferred to the police. A similar situation occurred at PEC No. 800096. Cases of the absence of voters in the lists (Zaporozhye, Zhytomyr, Kharkov, and other regions) were also recorded.

When counting votes, one of the main violations of the commissions was to delay the delivery of the protocols and to date them for the next day (April 22nd). Thus, commission members received a salary for 2 days, not just one. This is an additional amount of 268.94 hryvnia (about $10) for each member of the commission. Taking into account that an insufficient number of members of the commissions from one of the candidates was submitted for the second vote, this practice allowed to increase the pay for the people involved in the commission and motivate them to work.

In contrast to the first round on March 31st, on the day of voting on April 21st, in fact, a much smaller number of observers were present at the polling stations, both from candidates and from public organizations. At a number of stations in small towns and villages there were no observers at all.

During election day some commission members and even voters attempted to hinder the work of the observers of “Uspishna Varta”. Thus, at PEC No. 461980 in Lvov members of the commission tried to stop the observer from “Uspishna Varta” from taking part in the work of the commission and prevented him from making a statement about the facts of an offence committing during the PEC's work. In Zhytomyr, at polling station No. 181368, an aggressivedrunk voter attacked the observer of “Uspishna Varta”. The conflict arose due to the fact that the observer was filming the events taking place at the station.

“Anomalous” stations

On the day of voting on April 21st no direct evidence of voter bribery or controlled voting was seen by the observers of "Uspishna Varta". Recall that on the eve of the second vote there were reports of planned voter bribery within the framework of the so-called “web” of Petro Poroshenko’s headquarters in Kiev, Volyn, Chernigov, and other regions.

At the same time, like in the first round, on April 21st an anomalous voter turnout (over 80%) was recorded at a number of polling stations. The percentage of support for Petro Poroshenko in such stations reached 93%. These polling stations are called “anomalous” since the results of voting and voter turnout differ significantly from other polling stations in the same district and the region as a whole. Such statistics may indicate controlled voting or the implementation of direct fraud.

The largest anomalies in the results of voting on April 21st were recorded in the Lvov region - the only one where President Poroshenko is in the lead (62.79%). For example, at station No. 460982 at territorial constituency No. 118 (village of Gorodislavichi), turnout reached 93%, while the percentage of Poroshenko’s support was 92.3%. The same anomalous stations were recorded in other districts of the Lvov region, as well as in a number of districts in other regions.

Also, an anomalously high turnout and support for Petro Poroshenko were recorded at special stations in the zone of the Operation of the United Forces (OUF) in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, where the military personnel voted. For example, at station No. 000006 in constituency No. 59 the percentage of votes cast for Petro Poroshenko amounted to 92.45%, with the regional average being 10.56%.

In general, in the Donetsk region there is a significantly smaller number of “anomalous” stations than in the first round. As a result, the percentage of support for Petro Poroshenko in the region as a whole also decreased to 10.59% (in the first round - 12.64%). “Anomalous” polling stations in the Donetsk region were recorded on April 21st mainly in the front-line villages and small settlements that are controlled by military-civil administrations.

For example, in district No. 45 (the center is the Yasinovatsky district, in the village of Ocheretino) in the village of Netaylovo the level of support for Poroshenko was 73.91% with 40.65% having being counted. In the front-line cities of Marinka and Krasnogorovka (constiuency No. 59) the overall average regional support for the current president was 69% of the votes cast (against 10.56% of support in the region).

In addition, anomalous areas were recorded in other regions. Thus, in district No. 94 in the Kiev region (according to the media, the district is influenced by Igor Kononenko, the business partner of Petro Poroshenko), in some stations Poroshenko's level of support reached 74.75%. The average support for the current president in the region is 27.78%, and the turnout is up to 91%. We are talking about, for example, the villages of Vinnytski Stavy, Glevakha, Kovalivka, Roslavichi, and others.

In general, the results of voting at “anomalous” polling stations and violations recorded on election day did not affect the overall result of the presidential election in Ukraine. At the same time, throughout the campaign, the shadowy nature of the financing of campaign work and the labour of members of election commissions, the abuse of administrative resources, and negative information campaigns remained problematic issues. The use of these practices during the electoral campaign confirms the need to strengthen the legislative and practical guarantees of democratic elections in Ukraine.

***

On January 18th 2019 the “Uspishna Varta” human rights platform received permission from the Central Election Commission to have its official election observers. Observation is carried out by the work of more than 100 long-term and short-term observers in constituencies; interviews with representatives of candidate headquarters, election commissions, the media community, and the public sector; the collection of data from open sources of information.

This report was formed on the basis of observation during April 21st 2019 in order to inform the Ukrainian and international community about the progress of the electoral process in Ukraine and violations that may affect the free will of citizens and the election results.

The interim report on the results of observation for the period from April 1st to 18th 2019 is available here.

DOWNLOAD "Uspishna Varta" on the results of observation on election day, April 21, 2019

СКАЧАТЬ «Успішна варта» о результатах наблюдения в день выборов 21 апреля 2019 года

Download 2019 Ukrainian Presidential Election. Report on the observation of the electoral process (third intermediate) April 1-88, 2019


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